Lecturer, Communication and Media
As a professional film and video producer, Dr. Spina-Caza has produced and directed film and video programs on business, social and health communication topics for which she received American Film Festival Red and Blue Ribbon awards, Cine Golden Eagles for excellence in storytelling in media across all genres, and other nontheatrical awards and honors. At RPI, Dr. Spina-Caza has taught Communication Theory and Practice, Writing for the Screen, and Proposing and Persuading. Her experience in the field of multimedia production informs her teaching and research.
Spina-Caza's current interests include restorative storytelling and creative placemaking for community revitalization. In 2016, she co-authored a successful NYSCA grant with a team at Schoharie Area Long Term Development, a nonprofit community service organization dedicated to building resilient and sustainable communities. The funds were used to create an interactive trails website – Trails to Tales of Schoharie County – trailstotales.org. Spina-Caza was supervising producer and content developer for the project and has produced 85 videos for the website to-date.
Spina-Caza co-authored a successful Teaching Learning Collaboratory (TLC) seed grant in 2017 to leverage technological innovations for the design of a mixed reality game-based learning experience to transform Folsom Library into a multi-player quest environment where students can gain lifelong research skills. Other research interests include the design and study of mixed reality and virtual environments for informal learning across the lifespan.
Publications: “When girls go online to play: Measuring and assessing play and learning at commercial websites," a chapter in Girl Wide Web 2.0: Revisiting girls, the internet, and the negotiation of identify; “Objects in play: Virtual environments and tactile learning” published in the Proceedings of the fourth international conference on tangible, embedded, and embodied interaction (TEI); and “Clicks and Bricks: Methods and Strategies for Measuring the Effects of Similar Virtual and Physical Activity” published in Blackwell’s international companion to media studies: Research methods in media studies.
PhD, Communication and Rhetoric, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY
MS, Television, Radio and Film, S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communication, Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY